A Closer Walk with God

by Beth Fore

“Who is wise and understanding
among you? Let him show it
by his good life, by deeds done
in the humility that comes from
wisdom. But if you harbor bitter
envy and selfish ambition in your
hearts, do not boast about it or deny
the truth.  Such ‘wisdom’ does not
come down from heaven but is
earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For
where you have envy and selfish
ambition, there you find disorder
and every evil practice.  But the
wisdom that comes from heaven
is first of all pure; then peace-
loving, considerate, submissive,
full of mercy and good fruit,
impartial and sincere.
Peacemakers who sow
in peace raise a harvest
of righteousness.”

(James 3:13-18 NIV)

A Closer Walk with God

Father, as I meditate on Your word today,
I understand that You alone know the path I will take.
I ask for Your wisdom, insight, and discernment
as I submit my will to Yours in the decisions I make.

Give me complete trust and faith in You, Father,
as You walk with me on this journey today.
Give me Your power, strength, and faithfulness
as Your Holy Spirit guides me to follow Your Way.

Help me to live this life as an exciting adventure
looking forward to the delights and sorrows that lie ahead.
Help me to live life fearlessly and expectantly
as I submit wholly to You and follow where I am led.

Keep my eyes and mind focused on You, Father,
so that Satan’s deceitful lies don’t lead me astray.
Transform me into the likeness of Your son, Jesus,
so that in every thought and deed I will seek to obey.

Use me as Your vessel to bring honor and glory to You,
so that others will know You and offer You praise.
Shower me with Your spiritual blessings, Father,
and walk closely beside me for all of my days.

by  Beth Fore

*Wise people ask God for His wisdom and understanding so that they can know what God desires for their lives, and they seek to do His will rather than Satan’s will or their own.

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peace lovers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”  (James 3:18 NIV)

As Christians, we can have a closer walk with God when we ask for His wisdom and understanding.  God has a perspective on everything that is unique to only Him.  He sees the whole picture from the creation of the world to the end of times.  He works ALL things together for His good and our good.  We show that we have this wisdom from God when we live a good life and do good deeds in humility.

Many people choose worldly wisdom rather than godly wisdom.  This wisdom is selfish and self-satisfying.  These people harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in their hearts, and this wisdom is earthly and unspiritual because it comes from the devil.  This wisdom leads to disorder and every evil practice.

In order for us to walk closely to God and to understand His will for our lives, we must meditate on His Word often.  We must trust Him completely and ask Him for His power, strength, and understanding as we face our daily challenges.  We must keep our eyes focused on God’s will and stand up and confront Satan with his deceitful lies.  We must desire God’s transformation of our spirits into the likeness of Jesus Christ, and we must seek to bring honor and glory to our heavenly Father in everything we say and do.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Do you pray that God will give you wisdom?  Why is it important for us to pray for wisdom?
  2. Why do so many people fall into the trap of believing Satan’s wisdom?
  3. What are some of the things you need to do to be sure you are choosing God’s wisdom over Satan’s?
  4. Think about your relationship with another person with whom you are very close and intimate.  What are some characteristics of that relationship that make it so intimate?
  5. Do the characteristics mentioned above characterize your relationship with God? Are there additional characteristics that you could have to make your relationship to God even closer?

If you have questions about how to follow Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, email us at NLBIministry@gmail.com.

Humbled in Your Presence

“Blessed are those who
have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your
presence, O LORD.  They
rejoice in your name all
day long; they exult in
your righteousness.”

(Psalm 89:15-16 NIV)

Humbled in Your Presence

My heart is humbled at dawn
as the sun begins to rise.
Beautiful oranges and yellows
merge as they brighten my eyes.

A sparkling fog appears
and hovers over land and sea,
obscuring natural wonders
and enshrouding all the trees.

The air is cool and misty
as the brand new day awakes,
until the sun shines brighter
and through the moisture breaks.

Then my eyes see clearly
and the sun warms my face.
I see Your handiwork, God,
and feel Your warm embrace.

I pause and give You thanks
and worship You for a while.
The feeling of Your presence
turns my lips into a smile.

My heart is humbled at dawn
as I begin a brand new day.
I know that You are with me, God,
and will guide me on my way.

by Beth Fore

*God is the CREATOR of all things! Just looking at our natural world, from the tiniest flower or insect to the most magnificent redwood tree or an elephant, shows the power and might of Almighty God; and we are humbled in His presence.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  (Psalms 19:1 NIV)

As Christians, we awaken in the morning to a beautiful sunrise illuminating the sky with bold oranges and yellows.  We stand in awe of our divine Creator as we look up into the heavens and watch an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors in the sunrise and sunset.  We also stand in awe of the stormy skies as the wind tosses the clouds around and the lightning dances with bold flashes across a dark, ominous sky!

All of nature gives us pause to be still and admire and revere the Creator of such incomparable, unimaginable beauty and power.  We know that our Creator is so much greater than any of us, and it causes us to be humble and reverent in His presence. 

Every day is unique, unlike any other.  God demonstrates His power and might, His creativity, His love of color and beautiful lines, His appreciation and regard for the sounds and music we hear in the thunder, the roar of the ocean waves, and the melodious chirps of birds and insects.  He appeals to all of our senses in nature, and He provides us a beautiful earthly home to inhabit while our bodies are alive.

We should rejoice in the beauty and majesty of each new day, and we should give thanks and prayers and songs of joy and praise to our God for these wonderful blessings He gives us to enjoy each day!  We should slow down a bit and take the time to notice all of the little blessings He gives us, such as a spider spinning a web, an ant carrying a stick many times its size, a beautiful flower beginning to bloom, and the sound of a newborn bird chirping for the first time!  Let us all rejoice and give thanks for the wondrous blessings God gives us each day, and let us humble ourselves before Him as we enjoy His presence in our lives every day!

APPLICATIONS

  1. What are some of the wonders created by God that you most appreciate?
  2. Have you learned to acclaim and acknowledge God for who He is?  If so, what are some of the ways you acclaim Him?
  3. What does it mean to you to know that you are always in the presence of God?  Does it affect what you say and do?
  4. One meaning of humility is to understand that God is much greater than you or any other human being, and He desires to be given honor and glory and praise because of who He is — the great I AM.  Do you humble yourself before God and give Him the honor and praise He desires from you?

If you have questions about how to follow Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, email us at NLBIministry@gmail.com.

#Jesus #Christian #Christianwomen #followJesus #humility

Create in Me

by Beth Fore

“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit
within me.  Do not cast me
from your presence or take
your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy
of your salvation
and grant me a willing
spirit, to sustain me.”

(Psalm 51:10 NIV)

Create in Me

Create in me a pure heart
filled with love, joy, and peace.
Calm these inner struggles,
and give my soul release.

Renew my love and passion
for my Savior and my King.
Fill me with psalms and songs,
an offering to You I bring.

Cleanse me every day, Lord,
and make me pure and holy.
Comfort me with Your Spirit
as He lives inside of me.

Transform me with Your love,
Your mercy, and Your grace.
Strengthen me when I am weary
so that I can finish the race.

Welcome me with open arms
when my life on earth is done.
Let the angels sing “Hallelujah”
when the battle on earth is won.

by Beth Fore

*When a person becomes a Christian and is baptized, the old person no longer exists; and a new person (a new creation) has come to live a new life for Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!”  (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

New Christians are usually very excited and delighted to be forgiven of their sins and to have the opportunity to begin anew in Jesus Christ.  They are so thankful and grateful to God for his love, his kindness, his forgiveness, and the new life He promises them.  But, too often, as time moves forward, these Christians become more influenced by their worldly culture and daily lives. But too often, as time moves forward, these Christians become more influenced by their worldly culture and daily lives.  Then they are not as thankful and passionate as they once were.

It is then that we, like David, may pray the same prayer to our God,  “Create within me a pure heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  (Ps 51:10 NIV)

God is the great Creator, and He can create us at our physical birth the first time and re-create us again when we are baptized and born again.  He can also re-create us many times when we need to be re-ignited with the fire of the Holy Spirit and become passionate and energized for the work God has for us to do in His kingdom. 

It would do us good to pray these words every day. We desire to be strong and steadfast in the Lord daily, and we want to be in his presence under the guidance of his Holy Spirit so that we will be in an intimate, submissive relationship with Him always.  We also want to be joyful and thankful for our salvation and the hope that we have to spend eternity with Him in heaven.  So, let’s ask for these blessings every morning, and we will remain steadfast and firm in our faith and in our relationship with Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.

Applications

  1. Think back to the time when you were baptized and first became a Christian.  How did you feel about God and Jesus?  How involved and active and passionate were you in sharing your faith with other people?
  2. Did you lose some of your passion and zeal after you had been a Christian for a while?  If so, why do you think this happened?
  3. Why do you think David specifically asked God to create in him a pure heart?  Why do you think he asked God for a steadfast spirit?
  4. Now, why should you ask God to create a pure heart and a steadfast spirit within you?
  5. How can we keep the fire burning brightly within us and remain zealous and passionate for our Lord and Savior?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ 

A New Name

By Beth Fore

“He who has an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit
says to the churches.
To him who overcomes,
I will give some of the
hidden manna.  I will
also give him a white
stone with a new name
written on it, known only
to him who receives it.”

(Revelation 2:17 NIV)

A New Name

Jesus, precious Son of God,
who speaks to those who will hear
and to those of us who overcome,
You will make your message clear.

You will give us hidden manna
so that our spirits can feed,
and You will cover and protect us
and meet our every need.

You will give us a new name
that is written on a white stone.
We will be sanctified and holy
for Your blood our sins does atone.

You will make us a pillar
in the temple of the new Jerusalem.
You will write on us Your name
that shows we belong to Him.

Thank You, precious Jesus,
for giving us a new name to wear.
Help us be courageous and bold
as Your mighty name we declare!

Beth Fore

*In Revelation, John tells one of the churches that the Christians who overcome the challenges of this life will be given hidden manna and a white stone with their new name written on it, that only they will know.

“I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”  (Revelation 2:17 NIV)

My mother was a faithful Christian woman all of her life. About three weeks before her death, she was placed in a hospice facility for people who were dying.  She received wonderful care there, and one of my family members went to be with her most of the time she was there.

One day, I went to be with Mother and the nurses said that she had been upset and angry and they weren’t sure why.  I asked her what was wrong, and she looked at me and said, “They won’t call me by my name.”  I didn’t understand this so I asked her if they had called her Eloise, or Mrs. Thompson, and several other names.  She said, “No, no, they won’t call me by my name.”  Then, I was really confused.  Mom closed her eyes and went to sleep, and that was the end of that conversation.

I talked to my sister later that day and told her what had happened.  Coincidentally, most likely providentially, she had been reading a book written by Max Lucado, entitled, He Knows My Name.  Judy read these verses to me from Revelation.  This was the first time I was aware of these verses.

I think it was quite likely that my mom had already been given her new name, and that was the name she was expecting me and the nurses to call her.  Perhaps she was unfamiliar with the part of the verse that said the new name would be known only to him who receives it!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Most biblical names had important meanings.  Think of the many different name given to God and to Jesus.  Write some of these down, and look up their meanings.
  2. What do you think John means when he says the overcomer will be given hidden manna and a stone with a new name?
  3. If you could choose your new name, what would it be and what would it mean?
  4. The truths of God’s scriptures are often revealed to us in unusual situations such as the one I shared with you.  Can you think of a time in your life when something like this happened to you?  If so, share it with others.
  5. It seems to me that when a person is given some time to think and reflect before dying, they show signs of talking and laughing or crying with departed loved ones.  Some people also seem to see angels, or Jesus, coming for them and they are excited and full of joy.  If you have experienced anything like this with a loved on, please share it with us.

A Beautiful Journey

by Beth Fore

“He who was seated on the
throne said, ‘I am making
everything new!’  Then he
said, ‘Write this down, for
these words are trustworthy
and true.’  He said to me:
‘It is done.  I am the Alpha
and the Omega, the Beginning
and the End.  To him who is thirsty
I will give to drink without cost
from the spring of the water
of life.  He who overcomes
will inherit all this, and I will
be his God and he will be
my son.’”

(Revelation 21:5-7 NIV)

A Beautiful Journey

My loved one is going on a beautiful journey
to a place that surpasses all places.
There she will meet Jesus, our Savior,
and be reunited with familiar faces.

My loved one is going to sing with the angels
as the heavenly chorus sings songs of praise.
She’ll be the one with a smile on her face;
and with a joyful heart, her hands she will raise.

My loved one is going to live in Paradise
where she will experience no more pain.
There will be no more physical suffering,
no earthly heartache or tears will remain.

My loved one is going to live with Jesus,
and in His loving arms she will safely rest.
She will continue to serve Him faithfully
and offer herself at her very best.

My loved one is going to her heavenly home,
the place where her spirit longs to be.
She will be clothed in garments of white
and live with Jesus as He reigns in majesty.

My loved one is going on a beautiful journey,
on the wings of eagles she will soar;
and she will dwell in the house of the Lord
and live in His presence forevermore.

Beth Fore

*The reward for living the Christian life is to know, with blessed assurance, that God is in heaven and Jesus is reigning on His throne and Christians will be raised from their graves and this world; and they will be carried to a place that is beautiful and new and has been made ready for them.  Since this is true, Christians should welcome death in this body because it hastens the moment when we will leave this world and this body and go home to heaven to live with Jesus forevermore.

“To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:7 NIV)

There is a song we sometimes sing that says, “This world is not my home.  I’m just passing through.  My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”  As Christians, we are living on this earth, but it is not our permanent home. 

As long as we are here, we will have joy and pain, good health and suffering, prosperity and poverty.  These things are all part of this world.  But God assures us that He will take us to heaven to live with Him forever if we are faithful and obedient to Him.  We have HOPE!  We have a goal to aim toward when things are bleak and dreary.

We are all on a journey, and we will all face obstacles along the way.  Christians know that God goes before us, beside us, and behind us to protect us and be ever present in our lives.  When we face the battles head on, knowing that Jesus has already won the victory, we will have the courage and strength we need to get through the hard times!  We also have one another, other Christians, so that we can encourage one another, carry someone else’s load when he can’t, and know that there are people who love and care for us through this life!  When we come to the end of this journey, or walk beside someone else as they end their journey, we need not be afraid!  We know that Jesus and his angels will take our spirit from this broken body and carry us to heaven above!  Now, that is something we can all get excited about!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Meditate on this passage for a while.  What does it mean to you to know that Jesus will quench your thirst if you allow Him the privilege? He tells us He will give us water from the spring of the water of life freely, if we accept it.  What does this mean to you?
  2. Write down some of the things people have done for you along your journey that have encouraged you and strengthened you and helped you get up when you fall down and keep going.  Commit to doing these same things for other people.
  3. We know that we can’t live a life free of problems, disappointments, heartaches, and suffering.  So, why do we try to intervene in our children’s lives to keep them from experiencing these things necessary to maturity in Christ?
  4. Are you fearful of death?  If so, why?  Should a Christian fear death?
  5. A Christian has hope in a better place to live after death.  This also gives us hope in this life to face trials and tribulations.  Many people do not have this hope.  How should this motivate us to share this hope with other people?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ 

Waiting

By Beth Fore

“Be patient, then, brothers and
sisters, until the Lord’s coming.
See how the farmer waits for
the land to yield its valuable crop
and how patient he is for the autumn and
spring rains.  You, too, be patient
and stand firm, because the
Lord’s coming is near.”

(James 5:7-8 NIV)

Waiting . . .

Sometimes the waiting we do in life
is the most difficult thing to do.
We are never certain what the future holds,
and it is hard to know what to pursue.

This precious time that we spend waiting
teaches us to trust in You, Father,
and to spend time communing with You,
as through prayers with You we confer.

Often it is the time we spend waiting
that transforms our inner being.
We have time to reflect and introspect
as You open our eyes to “seeing.”

I have been waiting a long time now
to know what my future has in store;
but the longer I wait, the more I learn
to believe and trust in You more.

Teach me to be quiet and patient, Father,
and to give all of my heart to You.
Help me embody the fruits of Your spirit
and to Your will forever be true.

Beth Fore

*Waiting is not something human beings like to do or know how to do well.  It is something we must experience and seek God’s help in doing if we are to learn all of the lessons He wants us to learn from waiting.

“You, too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”  (James 5:8 NIV)

As human beings, we are very aware of time.  We plan our schedules, allocating so much reasonable time, to accomplish each task.  We are not happy (and we often display our impatience) when something interrupts our schedule and takes much longer than we anticipated.  At its very core, this is an example of our need and desire to control our lives with little consideration for God’s will and intended use of our time.

Learning to wait patiently on the Lord may be one of the most difficult, and beneficial, disciplines we learn in this life.  It encourages us to give up our time and resources, our needs and goals, and our control and will, and give it to God!  We become dependent on God, rather than independent on ourselves.  We have time to think, to listen, to meditate, to “be,” and to grow up and mature in Jesus Christ.  We have time to spend in prayer, in Bible study, in worship, in helping other people, in sharing Christ with the lost, and in many other spiritual matters.

When we spend days, months, and even years, praying for the Holy Spirit to transform us and other people into the likeness of Christ, we demonstrate our faith and trust in God.  When we are patient at the stores, in line at the bank, at the doctor’s office, on the phone with a business person, we are shining the light of Jesus into those around us.  Most people will be impatient in these situations, so patience is noticed and appreciated.  We have a choice to choose to be the impatient person in line, or the patient person.  Let’s make the better choice and be the patient one!

APPLICATIONS

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate yourself in demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit, patience?  Are you satisfied with your rating?  Why, or why not?
  2. Think of several situations where you are especially impatient.  Write down some specific things you can do to try to improve in these situations.
  3. Think of some circumstances where people are gathered together and someone demonstrates impatience to others.  What can you say, or do, to make peace?
  4. Think of some thing, or some one, whom you have prayed for a long time and God answered your prayer favorably.  How did this affect your prayer life, your faith, your trust in God?
  5. Look at patience as a discipline to be learned that will make you more mature spiritually.  How can this approach make it easier for you to become a patient person?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ 

Your Secret Wisdom

by Beth Fore

“The Spirit searches all things,
even the deep things of God. 
For who among men knows the
thoughts of a man except the man’s
spirit within him?  In the same way
no one knows the thoughts of God
except the Spirit of God.  We have
not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God, that
we may understand what God has
freely given us.  This is what we
speak, not in words taught us by
human wisdom but in words
taught by the Spirit, expressing
spiritual truths in
spiritual words.”

(1 Corinthians 2:10 NIV)

Your Secret Wisdom

God, You share Your secret wisdom
to all of the people who believe.
You reveal through Your Holy Spirit
what no human mind can conceive.

For a very long time, Your wisdom
was hidden from rulers and concealed;
but after Christ’s death and resurrection,
Your spiritual wisdom You revealed.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard”
what You prepared for Your children,
but Your Spirit searches all deep things
and convicts man of his darkest sin.

God, Your Holy Spirit knows You
and helps Your children understand,
spiritual truths in spiritual words
that You planned before time began.

God, the person without Your Spirit
cannot Your wisdom spiritually discern,
for it is only through Your Spirit
that Your spiritual truths can be learned.

God, the spiritual man makes judgments
through Your wisdom in every thing,
for the spiritual man has the mind of Christ
and receives the truths Your Spirit brings.

Beth Fore

*Only the Spirit of God knows and understands God.  Likewise, the spirit of man knows and understands man.  It is only when the Spirit of God comes to live within man that He reveals the mysteries about God to man and makes man wise and understanding.

“The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?  In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10)

There are many things in this world that are mysteries to man.  Every thing and every one was created by God, and only He knows how and why He made them, just as they are made.  Our spiritual being tries to understand his Creator, but we are baffled and puzzled by many things concerning the Creator of the universe. 

For those of us who believe in God, we know that God’s Spirit knows everything about us, while we know only a small part of God’s Spirit.  The Bible tells us that the more we pray for wisdom and seek her fervently, the more God’s Spirit will give her to us and empower us to be more like Christ.  When we become Christians, God’s Spirit comes to dwell with us; and He transforms us and renews our hearts so that we earnestly desire the sincere milk and meat of the Word and we want God to reveal Himself to us.

It is only when we, as Christians, choose to become the vessels through whom God’s Holy Spirit speaks that we will grow up and mature. If you want to know more about God and become intimate with Him, learn more about Christ and imitate Him in your life.  Receive God’s Holy Spirit and let Him work and speak through you.  Then you will come to understand the Spirit of God and His wondrous mysteries.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Write down five things your spirit knows about you.
  2. Write down at least five things God’s Spirit knows about Him.
  3. Think about some of the mysteries God has revealed to you about Himself and the mysteries of the world over time as He has lived inside of you.
  4. Do you ask God for wisdom, discernment, and a greater understanding of Him and the mysteries of life?  Begin praying for these things and watch God give you these things in greater amounts.
  5. Name some specific ways you think God’s Holy Spirit has worked in your life.

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ 

My Sovereign Lord and Master

by Beth Fore

“Dear friends, let us love one
another, for love comes from
God.  Everyone who loves has
been born of God and knows
God.  Whoever does not love
does not know God, because
God is love.  This is how God
showed his love among us: 
He sent his one and only Son
into the world that we might
live through him.  This is
love:  not that we loved
God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as an
atoning sacrifice
for our sins.”

(1 John 4:7-10 NIV)

My Sovereign Lord and Master

Jesus, You are the food that sustains me,
the bread of life that feeds my soul.
You are the water that quenches my thirst,
the living water that makes me whole.

Jesus, You are the mighty fortress
who protects me from my enemy.
You are the rock where I seek refuge,
who covers me and provides sanctuary.

Jesus, You are the sacrificial lamb of God
who offered Your precious life for me.
Your blood covers and cleanses my sin
and purifies my soul and sets me free.

Jesus, You are my strength and my rock.
I build my life on You as my foundation.
You are my Savior and Redeemer
who redeems me and gives me salvation.

Jesus, You are the source of my life.
You warm me and guide me with Your light.
You are the strength that empowers me
and shines on me in the darkest night.

Jesus, You are my beacon of hope
who leads me through life each day.
You are my sovereign Lord and Master,
the only one whom I trust and obey.

Beth Fore

*God has shown his love for us by sacrificing his Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from our sins.   Jesus is our sovereign Lord and Master and He alone provides everything we need in this life.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7 NIV)

Love is the most important emotion and action in our lives.  God is love, and He shows us how to love.  We must study God’s Word, pray fervently, and listen to the Holy Spirit as He guides us into all truth and shows us how love will transform our lives and bring honor and glory to God, which is our ultimate purpose on this earth.

Even though the Israelites were disobedient to God and left Him for worldly idols, God still loved and forgave them.  Even though the Israelites complained about their circumstances and rebelled against God’s prophets’ teachings and warnings, God was willing to forgive them and bless them again if they would change their hearts.  People who do not turn to God and obey His commandments do not love God or other people.    A person must really know God and be born of God before he can truly love God or his fellowman.

*Jesus is the source of ALL good things in our lives.

Jesus is the food that satisfies our hunger and the water that satisfies our thirst.  Jesus is an absolute necessity to our spiritual being.  We cannot live, or grow, or thrive in the desert without the love of Jesus giving us spiritual nourishment.

Jesus is our rock and our fortress.  He is our strength and power, and His Spirit lives within us and empowers us to do great things.  We don’t have to be fearful of those people who can kill the flesh.  They cannot kill the spirit!  God promises us that the one who is within us is greater than the one who is in the world.  Jesus Christ will always win the battle over Satan; and, in fact, he has already won the battle when he rose victorious over death from the grave.  We do not have to fear anything because Jesus is victorious and in control.  He is our light and our salvation.  He is our hope and assurance that we will also defeat Satan and live forever with Him in heaven!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Think of someone you love dearly.  Write down some of the things you do to show this person your love.  Then write down some more things you can do to show them love.
  2. Think of at least three instances in the Bible where Jesus demonstrated his love for someone.  How did they respond to his love?
  3. As Christians, we know we have already won the battle and defeated Satan because Jesus defeated him when he was resurrected from the dead.  Since we already know how our story ends, in victory, how should this affect the way we approach the difficulties in our lives?
  4. Write a paragraph describing what a person would be willing to do for someone he loves to show them just how great his love is for them.  Then apply this same paragraph to the love you should have for Jesus.

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ 

I Am The Rich Young Man

Jesus answered, “If you want to
be perfect, go, sell your possessions
and give to the poor, and you will
have treasure in heaven.  Then come,
follow me.”  When the young man
heard this, he went away sad, because
he had great wealth.  Then Jesus said
to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is
hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom
of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier
for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter the
kingdom of God.”

(Matthew 19:21-24 NIV)

I Am the Rich Young Man

I have been raised as a Christian, Lord,
I have been taught to obey Your command.
Like the rich young man seeking eternal life,
Your way for me, I do not always understand.

I am willing to give You my time, Lord,
to give some of my money and energy.
And sometimes I follow Your lead, Lord,
but I don’t give You ALL of me.

I desire Your blessings and promises, Lord,
but I don’t want to forfeit earth’s pleasures.
Though I want to enjoy eternal life with You,
I’m unwilling to give up all of my treasures.

I ask You to change my heart, Lord,
so that I surrender everything to You.
I ask You to empower me with Your Spirit,
to transform me and make all things new.

I long to be perfect like You, Lord,
so cleanse me with Your holiness.
Then I shall enter the kingdom of heaven
and receive all of Your promises.

Beth Fore

*God expects a great deal from his followers.  He told the rich young man to sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor.  He would tell each one of us today to give up the thing that is MOST precious to us and then go and follow him.

“Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.’” (Matthew 19:21 NIV)

For those of us who are new Christians, it is very difficult to understand that Jesus wants us to be willing to give up anything and everything to follow Him.  As humans, we work hard and save our money to buy a car, a house, and other things that we very much desire.  To give up these things, which we have worked so hard to buy, is very difficult for most of us and, seemingly, impossible for some of us.

For those of us who have been Christians a long time, it is very difficult to be willing to give up all of our earthly possessions to follow Christ.  We think it is difficult to give at least 10% of our earthly goods to Christ.  We are willing to give up some of our money, some of our time, some of our talents, and some of our purchased goodies; but, most of us are like the rich young man when it comes to giving up ALL of our possessions to follow Jesus.

*It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter heaven.

For most people, accumulating a certain amount of money, wealth, or resources is the goal of this life.  We follow the dream that if we work hard and save our money, one day we will be able to buy what we want and live the life we want and enjoy the pleasures of this world that money can buy.

We must love and trust Him completely, knowing that He will take care of us and provide for us.  We must be willing to give up the control of our lives, our possessions, and our desires if we want to be true disciples of Jesus.  Anyone who thinks it is easy to be a true disciple of Jesus is very mistaken.  To offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God is the greatest thing we can do to honor God and show that we completely love and trust Him.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Think of one or two things that belong to you that are the most important things, or people, in your life.  Are you willing to give up these people, or things, and give your life completely to Jesus?
  2. Think about an area of your life where you are very controlling and possessive.  Think of some ways you can begin giving up some things related to these areas. Once you achieve these goals, set higher ones. You may eventually find that you are able to give these things up for Jesus.
  3. Choose one of the apostles and contemplate what he gave up to follow Jesus.  Share your thoughts with someone else.
  4. What is the treasure in heaven Christ promised the rich young man if he would give up his earthly treasures?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ 

Delights from the Lord

by Beth Fore

“Your love, O LORD, reaches
to the heavens, your faithfulness
to the skies.   Your righteousness is
like the mighty mountains, your justice
like the great deep.  O LORD, you preserve
both man and beast.  How priceless is your unfailing
love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the
shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance
of your house; you give them drink from your
river of delights.  For with you is the
fountain of life; in your light
we see light.”

(Psalm 36:5-9 NIV)

Delights from the Lord

The kiss of the wind upon my cheek,
the butterfly fluttering on my nose,
the birds singing songs in my ears,
the sand trickling through my toes.

The morning mist moisturizing my skin
through sunrays making it glow,
the gentle breeze caressing my face
causing the strands of my hair to blow.

The soothing sounds of rushing water
flowing from a mountain stream,
the visual display of enhanced colors
filling my senses in a nocturnal dream.

The taste of the earth’s sweet nectar
squeezed from Nature’s grapevine,
wets my lips and delights my palette
as I savor the sweet sip of wine.

The fragrance of Nature’s bouquet
permeates every breath of air,
and I behold Your master artistry
in vibrant flowers everywhere.

You delight me every day, Lord,
and surpass my finite imagination,
as You reveal Your power and glory
in Your divinely inspired creation.

Beth Fore

*God, our Creator, has created a beautiful world for us to inhabit, and He wants us to delight in all of the special gifts and blessings He has placed on earth to bring us joy and delight.

“O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.  How priceless is your unfailing love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.  They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.” (Psalm 36:6-8 NIV)

God is the God of love to every living thing He has created.  He provides for our every need.  Regardless of our status, or position, in this world, God gives us refuge in the shadow of His wings and allows us to drink from His river of delights.  God is the one who created the ocean, the beautiful sky and clouds, the mountains and forests, the beautiful sounds of birds singing their songs, and the sound of earthly choirs singing heavenly songs to worship him.

God is a Father who gives His children every good blessing, and He delights when we recognize and acknowledge that all good gifts on this earth come from him!  He wants to open up His storehouse of abundant blessings and pour them down on us!  He also wants us to respond to His generosity and kindness with a thankful heart and a desire to share these good gifts with other people. 

There is nothing we can ever do to repay God for all of the things He gives us; but His delight comes through our love and obedience to Him and our love and kindness to our fellow man.  We choose whether we will be thankful, grateful people or complaining, ungrateful people.  God will truly show us the delights of His creation when we look at all of the little things He has created in nature to demonstrate His artistry, creativity, mystery, and meticulous attention to details.  We will feast on the abundance of His house and drink from His river of delights

APPLICATIONS

  1. Take some time and write down some of the most beautiful things in this world that God has created.  Do you really appreciate these things?  Pray a prayer of thanksgiving mentioning each one of these things to demonstrate your thankfulness to God for His gifts.
  2. What are some of the intangible gifts from God, such as “love?”  Are these gifts available to everyone or only to a select few people?  Give thanks for these gifts.
  3. Write a paragraph describing how you feel when you give a gift to your children, your spouse, or a friend, and they are absolutely delighted and joyful about the gift.  Imagine how God feels when He gives you a special gift that fills you with joy and delight.  Share your feelings with someone else.
  4. What are some things you can do when you get down and depressed and you can’t see any good in your life?
  5. Take a walk of praise to God.  As you walk (in your house, in your backyard, in your mind), look all around you and praise God for the things you see that are blessings and gifts from him.

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/